These is lots of buzz these days about being more mindful, of living in the present moment. Through my own experience I know when I am present, and I also know when my presence is hijacked by some past programming, old fear, worry, or an emotional outbreak. Yet when I experience presence and am practicing my mindfulness techniques, the rewards and benefits are unmatched by anything else.
We have reached the limits of the old management paradigm at work, the one that has been able to engage only 31% of our employees in America (Gallop Polls). That means that with all the studies, books, and leadership training programs on how to make work and workers more productive we still have almost 70% of our workforce unengaged with their work, and many are actively disengaged, spreading toxins within our organizations. The way we have been doing what’s called “leadership” at work simply is falling way too short. We need to expand and evolve the definition of leadership, and I have found the way to do just that is by practicing mindfulness in all aspects of my life – including my leadership roles.
Research shows that having an intense focus on a particular task — rather than thinking you can effectively ‘multitask,’ can make you much more productive and effective at work. We have been discovering that being mindful, or focusing in our attention to one thing in front of us, leads to significantly higher productivity, creativity, successful completion of projects, and a greater sense of accomplishment.
We don’t teach mindfulness practices in schools, so a conscious leader’s greatest gift to his/her people is for them to stay in the present moment as often as possible, and to offer teaching mindfulness techniques and daily practices at work. When we as leaders are more self-aware of what’s going on inside and outside of us, we can offer such higher degrees of insight, support, trust and wisdom to our people, which leads to more engagement, stronger teams, authentic communication and better results.
Companies large and small have realized the power and positive results of mindfulness training for their employees. Some of the companies that do this already include Apple, Boeing, Deutsche Bank, Facebook, Ford, General Mills, Google LA Lakers, P&G, Starbucks, Target, Toyota and Xerox. Leaders who are expanding their self-awareness are leading the way to also increase the levels of mindfulness for themselves and their people.
Mindfulness and being present doesn’t need to be just sitting on a cushion and meditating. It’s really about pausing and reflecting and thinking about what is going on right now – either who or what is right before you needing your highest and best attention, or on how you are thinking and feeling internally. If we are mentally and/or emotionally “not-present,” we default into our conditioned, reactive modes, and too often create more harm than good. When we are mindful we can engage with the people and tasks at hand with more skillful means and positive outcomes.
Being mindful, which brings us to into presence, results in:
– Better solutions appearing
– Struggles dissipating
– Overcoming obstacles
– Increased clarity
– Confront negative energies realistically
– Communicate authentically and effectively
– Safe and trusting relationships and teams
– Higher sense of peace, fulfillment and appreciation.
I see a day when more leaders live in states of presence, and they are able to foster such with the people they touch. I see those leaders’ organizations achieving engagement levels double, triple than those current. I see organizations of more mindful, present people achieving heights of productivity, profitability and fulfillment that significantly out-perform their competitors. I see such positive effects when people, leaders work on themselves to truly evolve. That’s the world and the places of work I want to live in. We have a way to change, and mindfulness practices are a fundamental factor in if/how we move forward.
What are you doing for your own well-being, your own self-improvement, your own authentic leadership development? I encourage you to investigate mindfulness, and if you have any questions connect with me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Conscious leaders become more self-aware.
Self-awareness expands mindfulness.
Mindfulness is the gateway to presence.
Presence is our greatest power.